Sri Lankan shares close up 0.8-pct

June 11, 2009 (LBO) – Sri Lankan stocks closed up 0.8 percent Thursday as investors targeted fundamentally strong stocks while expectations were also strengthening that an International Monetary Fund (IMF) bail out would come, brokers said. The Colombo All Share Price Index closed up 0.80 percent (17.68 points) to end at 2,220.11 while the Milanka index of liquid stocks gained 0.56 percent (13.73 points) to close at 2,482.56, according to provisional stock exchange data.

Turnover was 523.27 million rupees.

“Investors expect positive news with regard to the IMF bail-out money,” said Geeth Balasuriya of Acuity Stockbrokers.

“Retail investors were seen chasing fundamentally strong stocks.”

Conglomerate John Keells Holdings which has business interests in transport, finance, property development, food processing and retail sectors gained 2.00 rupees to close at 115.00.

Brokers said plantation sector stocks were actively traded.

Hapugastenne Plantations closed up 3.50 at 29.50, Horana Plantations gained 2.75 to close at 19.25 rupees, Kahawatte Plantations closed at 30.50, up 1.50 rupees, and Kegalle Plantation gained 1.75 to close at 30.75.

Kelani Valley Plantations closed at 52.25, up 4.75 rupees. Kotagala Plantations gained 1.75 rupees to close at 25.75.

“Looking forward investors are expecting earnings to improve in the medium to long term despite present poor corporate results,” said Balasuriya.

Commercial Bank of Ceylon lost 50 cents to close at 125.00, while diversified Aitken Spence gained 7.50 rupees to close at 671.25.

Index heavy celco Dialog Telekom, a unit of Telekom Malaysia closed flat at 5.50 rupees.